The wintry blast that brought snow and ice and closed the Desert Road has ended but forecasters say rain and thunderstorms are in store for much of the North Island.
A low weather system hanging to the east that sucked cold southerlies up over much of the North Island produced snow and ice that closed the Desert Road yesterday morning for the second time in two days.
Further south, near Wellington, snow showers left the road over the Rimutakas slippery and icy.
But Weather Watch analyst Philip Duncan said the cold snap that resulted in temperatures plunging to single figures and frosts throughout the central North Island should have passed.
He doubted whether today and tomorrow would be cold enough for snow, but warned motorists to be wary of black ice on roads in the central North Island.
He said most of the west of the North Island would get showers turning to rain and possibly thunderstorms later today and tomorrow.
“The great thing about it is it’s giving a bit of attention to the west coast instead of the flooded areas on the east coast,” said Mr Duncan.
“There could be some heavy falls but all of this should move through reasonably quickly … It’s a showery west-to-southwest flow for the next few days, which is really typical for this time of year.”
Mr Duncan said Aucklanders were likely to get wet later today but could expect a slightly warmer winter temperature of about 17C, with an overnight low of 12C.
Other centres throughout the North Island could also expect average temperatures, he said.
MetService forecaster Richard Finnie said that today, areas from the Bay of Plenty through to Northland could get thunder, with rainfall of up to 50mm in places over a 12-hour period.
He said a disturbed westerly flow meant the wet weather was likely to last through the weekend with showers for western parts of the North Island, although places to the east would remain dry.
– James Ihaka – NZHerald.co.nz